Samantha Power, who has served in the Obama administration in various roles since its inception, and is now the ambassador to the UN, made her name by calling on governments, and the American government in particular, to intervene actively to stop genocides from taking place abroad. Yet so far, the administration has done nothing to prevent genocide in Syria. Michael Totten writes:
We’ve already received a few early warnings that Assad might be inclined toward genocidal behavior. The U.S. government estimates that the regime killed 1,429 people with chemical weapons in Ghouta outside Damascus on August 21, 2013, and a few dozen more in Aleppo earlier that year. . . .
Other warnings of potentially genocidal behavior have been ongoing. The government and its local allies—Revolutionary Guard Corps from Iran and Hizballah from Lebanon—have been plausibly accused of ethnically cleansing Sunni Arabs around the core cities of Damascus, Homs, and Latakia.
There have been plenty of warnings, one after another. . . . Ethnic cleansing, though, isn’t the same thing as genocide. Theoretically, an area could be ethnically cleansed without a single fatality. . . . In practice, [however], modern armies that commit ethnic cleansing usually commit genocide. At the very least, it’s a warning that genocide may be coming. Whether or not Assad has crossed the line yet is debatable. . . .
But there’s another army doing grisly work in Syria that has clearly crossed the line and is unambiguously guilty of genocide. No ideology in the world right now is more inherently genocidal than that of Islamic State.